The deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest has eased somewhat, although the loss in its area is still considerable, statistics showed Tuesday.
A total of 754 square kilometers of rainforest disappeared between November 2008 and January 2009, said a study by the country's National Institute of Space Research (Inpe).
It represents a drop of 21.8 percent compared with the 964 square kilometers lost from August to October 2008, and 70.2 percent from the 2,527 square kilometers that disappeared in the corresponding period in the previous year.
However, the area devastated between November and January is still equivalent to half the size of Sao Paulo, the largest city in South America.
The Para state in northern Brazil was responsible for 42 percent of the deforestation in the period, or an area of 318.7 square kilometers.
The mid-western state of Mato Grosso and the northeastern state of Maranhao also saw a large contraction in their rainforest areas.
A total of 7,341 square kilometers of rainforest was lost across Brazil in 2008, five times the size of Sao Paulo.